DCS: patrick haggerty

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June is Pride Month.

Patrick Haggerty grew up on a dairy farm in rural Washington. His parents were accepting of their son’s homosexuality and encouraged him to “be himself” and not to “sneak around.”

In high school, Patrick, a natural performer, was the leader of the pep squad and was popular among his classmates. In college, he joined the Peace Corp, but was dismissed when it was discovered he was gay. He joined and became very active in the Gay Liberation Front, a local chapter of a nationwide advocacy organization formed in the wake of the Stonewall riots.

In 1973, he formed a band — Lavender Country — in an effort to popularize a subgenre of country/Western music known as “Lavender Cowboy Music.” The band’s self-produced album received mixed reviews, being called “fun, but amateurish in its production.

After a 49-year hiatus, Patrick and his band released their second album “Blackberry Rose” in 2019. They performed across the country. They gained popularity partly from the surging career of nuevo-gay icon Orville Peck and his own re-introduction of “lavender cowboy music” to the mainstream. “Blackberry Rose” even received a re-release in 2022. Riding the wave of his newfound, but latent, success, Patrick died suddenly from a stroke on Hallowe’en 2022. He was 78.



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